Zero Waste Habits I No Longer Have
Zero waste living takes a lot of effort. You often find yourself sacrificing convenience and efficiency to create a little less waste. It’s not pretty, and it’s rarely easy.
I’ve been living a low waste lifestyle for several years–or at least, I’ve been trying to. In 2016, I made the first change of many in my daily habits. Some switches were more successful than others.
If it’s taught me anything, it’s that living a low waste life doesn’t work for everyone. These are the zero waste habits I no longer have and why.
Zero waste living got me agonising over every decision I made. If I created any waste at all, I felt guilty about it. Living this way was making my life harder than it needed to be.
We’re all responsible for making better choices wherever we can. But that doesn’t mean piling on the guilt. We can only do so much as individuals, and doing your best is good enough.
A Menstrual Cup
The menstrual cup is possibly the most talked about zero waste switch. It’s an affordable purchase that will save you money and prevent a sizeable amount of waste. But what isn’t talked about is how it isn’t a good alternative for some people.
I’m one of those people. Menstrual cups don’t work for my body or my flow. All the cups I tried were uncomfortable, no matter what technique I used and they made my cramps worse. Thankfully there’s plenty of ways to have a low waste period without using a cup.
My local zero waste store was a 4 mile round trip on foot. It’s shut now but I used to go every week to buy my groceries. I did it because it felt great to support a local independent and buy packaging-free foods
But this habit was time consuming, exhausting, and incredibly inconvenient. It wasn’t practical or sustainable for my lifestyle, and I doubt it is for many others either.
A Washing Bag
Designed to catch the microfibres and prevent them from entering the water stream. In my experience, they’re a frustrating hassle that leads to more waste than they save.
The bag is tiny and can barely fit any clothes. Even with a half empty bag, it caused an imbalance, which stopped the cycle. When the clothes finally came out, they were sodden.
Reusable Cotton Rounds
Cotton rounds are a nice idea. You can even make them yourself. But cotton flannels are just as good and you probably already own some. They’re bigger, more useful, and equally as eco-friendly. They’re cheaper too since they’re not marketed in the same way!
This is one of the many examples of how certain products have been greenwashed to cater to the zero waste living movement. The most sustainable product is the one was already own.